The gameplan was to spend 17 days in Japan, travel all over the country, and have a grand old time. Well, upon landing in Tokyo and getting through customs and immigration, I wandered over to an ATM to get some cash to buy a train ticket to get to the central city.
My credit card didn't work in that ATM, or in any others in the airport.
While this was worrying, I started heading into the city on foot thinking that the 7-Eleven ATMs at the airport were just having a bad day, and I'd grab cash from an ATM at a bank or konbini within Tokyo on the way in.
My card wouldn't work in any ATM or bank that I attempted it in. Called my credit card company as well as my bank, and they verified that my card was still active and had plenty of funds in the account.
Matt, OC's video administrator who was also in Tokyo at the same time, had to come and bail me out so I could at least get into the city and get to my hotel (having now walked close to 10 miles with no food or water, and next to no sleep for the last 36 hours).
The ATM story continued for the next day. Tried over 20 ATMs total, and several different banks - nothing could read my credit card. Travelex and Western Union transfers errorred out when I attempted then, as well as other resources to try and get cash into my hands.I was stranded on the complete opposite side of the world with no usable money. To say I was bordering on scared wouldn't be far from the mark.
Thankfully, I was able to procure a little pocket money from Matt to at least get a meal and some hydration in my system and get back to the airport. I was able to successfully change my departure flight time to the next day so I could get out of the country that I literally couldn't afford to live in.
So, there you have it. I'll publish a tech comment on the Tech section as to the details for why my card wouldn't work, but I do at least have a few pictures from the time wandering around Tokyo that I was able to get.